A Ghostly Gathering and a Marriage Proposal

Ghosts, goblins, and a surprise marriage proposal. Oh, my!

Last night, writers from three Inland Empire critique groups were greeted at the second annual “Ghostly Gathering of Writers” by our gracious ghost hostess and author, Marissa Perez and her family.

As we arrived, everyone oohed and awed over the creepy décor and fun and spooky treats. There were sticky cobwebs draped everywhere. And lots of creepy eyeballs, skeletons, and spiders! EEK!

After we filled our plates, we gathered on the patio where paper lanterns with skulls swayed in the cool fall breezes from a mock graveyard with headstones guarded by skeletons. We’re writers, so naturally our imaginations zipped into overdrive. Soon barking neighborhood dogs became a pack of hungry coyotes and howling werewolves.

With the eerie mood set, we quickly got into the spirit of the evening and the storytelling began. One-by-one, guests stood at a large, glowing orb and shared their haunting tales.

After a dozen stories, Marissa’s boyfriend, Brian, stood at the bright orb and read his version of T’was the Night Before Christmas with a quirky Halloween twist. Midway, he became serious, his voice began to crack, and his hands started to tremble. Brian’s a non-writer so I understood his uneasiness to read before a group of writers. But as he continued to read, he pulled out a small gift box and asked Marissa to join him at the glowing orb.

A puzzled look crossed Marissa’s face. Then a smile.

At this point, we all glanced at one another and fumbled for our cameras. Just in time, too, because Brian dropped to one knee and proposed marriage. Marissa said yes. And we all leapt from our chairs to congratulate the newly engaged couple!

It all happened so fast. None of us caught the proposal on video. But I did capture the endearing moment with a few photos along with pictures of the ghost story party.

Close to midnight as the other writers dispersed, I lured Marissa back outside to the glowing orb to tell just one more ghostly tale.  I heard her tell this true story several years ago and it’s still one of my very favorites. This, I was able to capture on video. Hope you enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzKyl9q34Hk

Do you have a surprise marriage proposal story or ghostly tale to share?

23 thoughts on “A Ghostly Gathering and a Marriage Proposal

  1. teresarobeson

    Oh my goodness! How fabulous!! Both the Halloween party worthy of Martha Stewart and the sweet proposal!

    I don’t have any interesting stories about Halloween. I used to make interesting costumes for the kids when they were little, but I have no time to sew anymore..and they’re too old for dressing up anyway.

    My hubby proposed to me while we were canoeing in Florida early one morning with manatees swimming below us and mist rising from the water. It was rather magical, now that I look back on it. 😉 But, it’s not the most interesting proposal really.

    1. Yvette Carol

      On the contrary, Teresa, I love your marriage proposal!
      It’s romantic in the extreme…
      Although I’m jaded in that dept. I still tend to be a sucker for romantic proposal stories (like yours, and Marissa’s). My marriage proposal? My ex turned to me while we stood on the doorstep, one night, and tossed off the words, “I suppose we should get married.” Yeah, I think I get the prize for ‘not the most interesting proposal’, don’t you? Ha ha

      1. teresarobeson

        Oh Yvette, if it makes you feel any better, it wasn’t like hubby actually got on one knee and proposed. Amidst the magical scenery, he sort of just said, “let’s get married.” :}

    2. mariacisnerostoth Post author

      Teresa~it was a fun time at the party! I can always be my silly self around Lynn. LOL! And I know what ya mean about making fun costumes for the kiddos. The holidays were always such an exciting time. And nowadays, the stores even have cooler costume stuff. Hubby and I hung out at the Halloween store today. Got some lights for our very own Ray Bradbury Halloween Tree. 🙂

      And a proposal while canoeing ranks pretty high on the romatic meter! With the rising mist and the manatees. Yep. I’d say it was magical!

  2. Lynn Kelley

    Bravo, Maria! This is great! You summed the night up perfectly. After all the scary stories (and me literally trembling with fear in my boots), it was a happy ending with Marissa and Brian getting engaged. What a wonderful surprise! So I got to leave on a happy note. I’m afraid to hear the other story, especially if it’s true, but I’ll come back later when I’m feeling braver and will watch it. Today I pay for not taking it easy on my sore back yesterday, but it was worth it. I’m so glad I didn’t miss this! That picture of Marissa’s ring and the gory thumb is a riot!

    1. mariacisnerostoth Post author

      Lynn~I had a blast, too. And glad I got to sit next to ya ’cause you totally get my sometimes weird, quirty humor. After everyone left, Carol patiently waited while I lured Marissa back to the Storytelling Orb and she told her story. She didn’t skip a beat while retelling her creepy Doppleganger tale. And yes, it really happened! So glad I captured her telling it on video. Listen to it sometime when you’re rested up and on a bright sunny day…and with George at your side, so you can hang on to his arm. LOL!

      And the engagement was the highlight of the night! So romantic!!!

      The whole night was fabulous. Didn’t get to bed till 6 a.m. Hehehe. Paying for it now, too. But it was so worth it. 🙂

      1. Yvette Carol

        6 a.m! Maria, I don’t know how you do it. Can you pass me some of that jungle juice you must have in your veins because my eyeballs are on the floor after my measly midnight bedtimes!!

  3. Yvette Carol

    All I can say is, thank goodness you started blogging again, Maria. This was fascinating and I loved the pictures (OMG, that cake with the eyeballs!). What a fabulous idea, to gather critique groups together. I’ve not heard of that before…
    And the marriage proposal was a nice unexpected twist to the gruesome tale!!
    Brilliant post 🙂

    1. mariacisnerostoth Post author

      Yvette~Maybe someday the WANA tribe will have their own ghost story party! It’s so much fun. The idea came about 14 years ago. I attended an author’s book lecture at an Indie store on this quaint, old-fashioned street in the City of Redlands. (munching on leftover eyeball cake while I’m writing this) Anyhow, these college chums would gather every October for more than 10 years and they read their original ghostly tales at ghost story parties. Eventually, they decided to publish some of their best stories in a book titled “Harvest Tales & Midnight Revels,” featuring 19 stories. That night I knew I had to host a ghost story party, so Joey and I hosted them for two years in a row. Marissa ‘loves’ ghost stories and enjoyed the party. (That’s when I first heard her tell her ‘Cindy Saver’ story.) Last year she and her awesome kids hosted their first party. It was great fun! And this year the spooky level was cranked up a notch (LOVED the storytelling orb!), and the surprise marriage proposal made the evening so special for everyone there!

      My dream is to host a ghost story party at the historical and haunted Mission Inn. Lynn, Kathy, Stephanie and I did our first Monster Moon revision at the hotel. We locked ourselves in our suite for 3 days and worked till the wee hours of the morn. The hotel has a floor called “Author’s Row” where famous authors have stayed & worked on their manuscripts. Haunted. 🙂

      1. mariacisnerostoth Post author

        Yvette~I’m glad I’m blogging again, too. It’s just getting back into that mode. Have more pics, so more blogs coming. LOL! As for your marriage proposal from your ex. Good thing you can keep such a good sense of humor about it. 🙂

      2. Yvette Carol

        Wow!!!! Terrific reply, Maria. I love the sound of the Mission Inn, and the Author’s Floor 🙂 How cool that you guys got to work on a book that way, together. Fun times!

    2. mariacisnerostoth Post author

      Yvette~did you get the FB msgs & emails. HV in the U.S. is still opened for submissions till this around this time tomorrow on the 15th. Yay!
      And trust me… I’m paying for staying up till 6 a.m. But I was determined to get this blog post up. LOL!

      1. Yvette Carol

        p.s. thank you, Maria! You were right, the submission form was back up. I sent it off, at exactly 6 p.m. (sort of echoes your 6 a.m!) It’s done!! 🙂

  4. thewritingcoach1

    This was the best party! I’ve never seen a proposal in person before (other than my own, of course), so it was so exciting and romantic to see how Brian went to so much work to make this a special day for Marissa.

    1. mariacisnerostoth Post author

      Hi Carol, yes, it was a GREAT party! Also, aside from my own, it was the first marriage proposal I witnessed, too. Wow! It really was romantic. They make a cute couple! Looking forward to the wedding!


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